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Pharmacy student wins "Best in Show" for poster

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JOHNSON CITY (March 19, 2014) – An East Tennessee State University pharmacy student came away with the Best in Show award from the Tennessee Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) for a poster she presented at the organization’s annual meeting.

Chelsea Phillips, a member of the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s class of 2015, won with her poster entitled “Pharmacy-Related Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions: An Analysis of Tennessee’s County-Level Characteristics.”  Phillips’ work was in competition with about 50 other entries, most from first- and second-year pharmacy residents from various residency programs across the state.

Joining Phillips on the project were ETSU doctor of pharmacy candidates Alea F. Moore, Caralyn I. Snyder, Whitney P. Varney, and Dr. Nicholas E Hagemeier, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice.

For the poster, the students explored hospital discharges across Tennessee for pharmacy-related ambulatory care-sensitive conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, bacterial pneumonia, and uncontrolled diabetes.  The students examined differences in hospital discharges at the county level and analyzed how discharges differed across the number of community pharmacies per county and whether or not the county was rural or urban.

“Ambulatory care-sensitive conditions are ones that can be managed in the outpatient setting to prevent a hospitalization.  Our thought was that if we can engage community pharmacists in prevention efforts, we may be able to prevent hospitalizations for these conditions in the state,” Phillips explained.  “We found that where more community pharmacies exist, discharge rates for bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and COPD are lower.  We also noted a significant relationship between hospital discharges for bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, COPD, and uncontrolled diabetes across county rural designation.  Counties considered rural had increased hospitalizations for these conditions as compared to partially rural and non-rural counties.”

Phillips said the poster is significant in showing the role pharmacists can play in the community setting by managing patients’ medications and disease states to help prevent hospitalizations.  Hagemeier notes, “I’m elated that the project was received well by TSHP.  The students worked hard, were engaged in the research, and undoubtedly learned from the experience.  They simply did a dandy job and advanced knowledge in the process.”

Phillips is a native of Oneida and a graduate of Oneida High School.  She is the daughter of Jack and Lynn Phillips.